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Old December 17th, 2012, 10:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Rear loading test bed guitar

I have been wanting to try out some different pickups and control layouts, so I am building a hard tail dedicated to that. The rear access plate will allow pickup changes without loosening the strings. The pickup cavity is sized to allow P-90s, or anything smaller.

When I want to change the controls around, I will just plug the holes and re-drill. You may be able to see that I have already plugged one hole as I changed my mind about switch location.

Since this will always be a work in progress, I used no fancy wood, and I am not going for the ultimate in cosmetics. I did do my "gut cut" rear contour.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 11:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow...that's a big swimming pool.:-). Now all you need are some Fahnestock clips...LOL.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 03:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am working on one like it, only mine started life as a Squire Strat. Thinking of filling in the old tremolo hole to the bridge is solid like yours. But that is a whole woodworking skill of its own.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 10:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Almost ready for the first pickup audition -- a pair of Duncan P-Rails, with a Gibson T-top for comparison of the humbucking sounds. The P-rails have 2 pole 4 position switches for p90, parallel HB, series HB, and rail.

Body material is poplar. It has one coat of clear shellac and a couple coats of amber.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 12:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow...very cool idea!!
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Old January 14th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Agree, this is a great idea. I had the idea some time ago to set up a system of connectors for pickups. Rather than soldering pickups into the wiring harness, you could plug them in. THe biggest hurdle would be getting a jack that would fit through the channel pickup route and the control cavity.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 01:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thinking of filling in the old tremolo hole to the bridge is solid like yours. But that is a whole woodworking skill of its own.
I've done it..............this from Guitar Parts Resource is a steal at 20$..............trust me


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Old January 14th, 2013, 02:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Pullshocks, that thing looks great. I wish I had thought of your cheap ferrel idea. Thats just too simple for me to come up with. I was imagining ways to turn my drill into a laith to make them and gave up and bought the normal ones.

I really like your Pickup mount. That is slick. Have you made them to pop in for Tele and Strat allignments?


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I've done it..............this from Guitar Parts Resource is a steal at 20$..............trust me


Yes, that would have been a LOT easier.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 08:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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sean over at scarred guitars had an interesting take.

hard tail "strat" he chambered all the way around the top but left 1/4" rim. then created sinme 'faux' tops he could screw in w/ 9 screws and swap out pups with the tops

interesting idea, i dont know that he went to production w/ them, created a 1/2 dozen at least
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Old January 14th, 2013, 09:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I built this one this past summer. Works great and pretty much the same idea.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 10:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I built this one this past summer. Works great and pretty much the same idea.
It is definitely an idea others have thought of too. There was a shop in town that had a similar rig on display.

Here is my question for Guitarbuilder: Do you think the test guitar gives a good idea of how the pickup sounds in other guitars?
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Old January 14th, 2013, 10:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I like the jack!
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Old January 15th, 2013, 07:08 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It is definitely an idea others have thought of too. There was a shop in town that had a similar rig on display.

Here is my question for Guitarbuilder: Do you think the test guitar gives a good idea of how the pickup sounds in other guitars?
I don't know yet...I haven't put the pickups in any guitar yet... I gave most of them away to friends and the two humbuckers I made during that winding session are still in the guitar..... I would guess that the isolation of the pickups from the surrounding body have an impact on the sound somewhat but like everything on an electric guitar, all elements contribute to the end result, not just the pickups.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 08:14 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Nice! We built a pickup mule several years ago which worked out quite well- any combination goes in and out easily- not as sexy as these, though. LOL







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Old January 15th, 2013, 08:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Nice! We built a pickup mule several years ago which worked out quite well- any combination goes in and out easily- not as sexy as these, though. LOL


I love it!
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Old January 15th, 2013, 10:39 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I built this one this past summer. Works great and pretty much the same idea.
I like that a LOT

aWHOLE LOT
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Old January 15th, 2013, 10:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I love it!
dude you better patent that bad boy NOW
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Old February 8th, 2014, 01:58 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Discovered the key to fast pickup changes is to glue the springs to the pickguard, or use rubber tubing instead of springs. This way the springs don't go flying when you reach for the screw driver

Added a terminal block for solderless connection of the pickup wire

Up now is a set of noiseless single coils with a couple of real Fender pickups for reference. Needless to say there is a lot of magnetic pull on the plain G. Neck pickup location is +/- stock, but I had to mess with the spacing to get all 5 pickups to fit.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 02:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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A guitar after my own heart. Well done. I can definitely see how sustain would be an issue here! ;-)

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Old February 8th, 2014, 09:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Wow, I was thinking of building something similar now that the winder is nearly done. I think I saw some ideas to steal. great thread!
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